Monday 20 December 2010

H&F Conservatives Grit Failure - “Elderly Going Down Like Ninepins"

Fulham Road, Fulham
This is the third winter in a row that there has been a lack of any gritting on Hammersmith and Fulham’s main roads, pavements and side streets. It’s not the same in neighbouring Kensington and Chelsea who appear to have gritted all their high streets and pavements within hours of the snow first falling. This is clearly a budgetary and policy decision made by H&F’s ruling politicians and one that is causing chaos for many Borough Residents.

The lack of any attempt to make even main thoroughfares safe became obvious in February 2009 – when H&F Council tried the excuse, they “couldn't get their gritting machines going.” Last winter this reoccurring failure even damaged the attempt of a local Conservative councillor to become a Member of Parliament – so it's reasonable to expect lessons would have been learnt.

Dawes Road, Fulham
Shepherds Bush Councillor Mercy Umeh (Lab) tells me "it's chaos they haven't improved any safety measures since the last big snow fall". Adding "as recently as last Saturday I couldn’t find a single street that had been gritted and I still can't find much evidence of any gritting today."  Mercy said “My Saturday morning surgery was very busy. One constituent, who cares for her elderly mother told me she is distraught as she is unable to take her mother out in her wheelchair. I’ve written to officials demanding immediate action but as yet the streets remain un-touched.”

Munster Road, Fulham
Local resident Bert Schouwenburg contacted me to say that last Friday he slipped on the untreated ice in Shepherds Bush. He says “I went head first onto the pavement, ended up in an ambulance and now have 8 stitches in a nasty head wound above my eye. Was I in a back street where the pavements hadn't been gritted? No, I was in Goldhawk Road.” Bert Schouwenburg is the President of H&F’s Trades Council and said “Despite the weather warnings, H&F Council and their contractors had not salted or gritted any pavements and the ambulance staff told me that the elderly were going down like ninepins - some of whom will never walk again.”

Meanwhile, I was out and about in Fulham on Saturday. I took these photos (click to enlarge) from 1.00pm onwards. Notice that not only is there un-melted ice, there’s no sign of any grit or treatment to make it melt.

If you’ve fallen or been hurt or are caring for someone who has, you can complain to H&F Council by clicking onto the email address listed at the bottom of this link. Please copy me in to any complaints by emailing me here.

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